Govt Yet To Pay 2015 Bills, Owes BCC $5 Million In Arrears

Govt Yet To Pay 2015 Bills, Owes BCC $5 Million In Arrears
Published: 2016 June 15 06:44:56 (1816 Views)


THE government’s debt to Bulawayo City Council (BCC) has increased to about $5 million, placing further strain on the local authority’s ability to deliver quality service to residents.

According to the latest council minutes, as at the beginning of April, the government through its various departments owed BCC $4,3 million but the debt increased to $4,9 million by the end of that month.

“At the beginning of the month (April) $4,351,307 was owed by the government. . .

“The debt increased to $4,950,426 by the end of April 2016. An amount of $2,383,597, which was agreed to be offset with the Ministry of Finance in lieu of PAYE incurred in years 2015 and 2016, is yet to be credited to the government accounts.

“This will reduce the government’s indebtedness to council once effected to $2, 566,829,” reads part of the minutes.

They show that the Zimbabwe National Water Authority is the largest debtor, owing $1,5 million followed by the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, which owes $1,2 million.

The Ministry of Home Affairs owes $1,06 million while the Ministry of Health and Child Care owes $531,899.

During the period under review, the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development’s indebtedness to BCC stood at $385,604.

Other government departments owing the local authority are the Judicial Service Commission, Ministries of Defence, Transport and Infrastructural Development, and Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development.

BCC is owed close to $70 million by residents, while industrial and commercial debtors owe about $50 million.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing has rejected the BCC’s 2016 proposed budget.  Harare, Mutare, Masvingo and Gweru also had theirs rejected.

Last year, the government prescribed a salary-service ratio of 30:70, setting an income ceiling of $10,000 for town clerks.

However, some of the local authorities tipped the scale in favour of salaries, and must now re-do their budgets.

BCC submitted a ‘stand-still’ 2016 budget of $153 million of which $40 million would be channelled to salaries.

It had budgeted $8,25 million for road, bridge and storm water drainage maintenance, and $6,93 million for solid waste management, refuse disposal and public conveniences.



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